Sunday, May 31, 2009

Busy Weekend

Brandon had a busy weekend. John and Rachel came over for dinner on Friday. John grilled hamburgers(and veggie burgers for me)for everyone. Brandon was so smiley when John and Rachel got here.

Brandon and I went to Stroller Strides on Saturday morning. We had a make up class from one that was cancelled on Wednesday due to the rain. In the afternoon we took a short trip to Babies R Us to get some things for our trip (we are going to California on Wednesday for 1 1/2 weeks for my brother's wedding and then staying for a vacation). Saturday night we went to the NICU to visit since three of Brandon's primary nurses were working. We went at 7:00 so the day shift was still there and the night shift was coming in. We saw Chris, Kate, and Sue as well as a few other nurses who had Brandon on occassion. Everybody couldn't believe how big Brandon got.

This morning Brandon and I walked in the nutterrun in Sea Girt with some other stroller strides moms and their babies. Stu ran in the race. It was a 5K and the weather was really nice for it. After the race we enjoyed some music and food before heading home.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sleeping Through the Night

I hate to jinx it but Brandon has slept through the night the past two nights. For the two weeks prior he was pretty much sleeping from after his 7:00 bottle until about 4:30 am most of the nights. He still wakes up sometimes throughout the night but all I need to do is pick him up, put his pacifier in his mouth, and put him right back down. I don't need to hold him until he falls back asleep like I used to. Last night he slept until 5:35 am and the night before until 5:55 am. Both nights I have had to go into his room twice to pick him up, put his pacifier in, and put him back down and then he is right back asleep. I think he needs the reassurance that I am still here.

Over the last few weeks he has also started to reach for me to pick him up or he turns to me when he is playing on the floor and puts his hands on my lap so I will hold him in my lap.

He has been eating a yogurt everyday for lunch and loves it. Still no teeth. I wish they would push through because his gums really hurt.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Trip to the Aquarium

Stu took off work today so we could do something as a family since a year ago today is when I delivered our baby girl, Brandon's twin, at 20 1/2 weeks. We went to Quest first because the pediatrician wanted Brandon to get a routine CBC and a lead test since there is lead in a lot of toys now. The woman there couldn't find a good vein on either arm so she had the other woman who takes blood come look. She had a hard time too but then thought she found one. She put the needle in his arm and no blood was coming out. In the meantime poor Brandon was crying. She told us to come back in a month and they will try again. I am going to see if I can find someplace else to take him for blood because I don't want them to poke him again if they can't find a good vein. We then went to the firehouse so that Brandon could meet Maurita. We then went to the Jenkinson's Aquarium in Point Pleasant. We had such a good time there. Brandon noticed the fish, sharks, and other animals and liked watching them. It is not a big aquarium so it was the perfect size for him to enjoy. After Stu and I got pizza and Brandon was really well behaved when we were eating it. We got ice cream after and Brandon got his first taste of vanilla ice cream. It was a big hit. We didn't get to walk on the boardwalk since it was raining. It was really nice spending time together as a family today. Hopefully we can do something as a family every year on this date to remember our baby girl.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Brandon and I went to the Memorial Day parade today in our town with Dina and her family. Stu's parents met us there too. Stu was in the parade. Brandon really liked the parade. He smiled when he saw the firetrucks in the parade. After the parade we went back to the firehouse for a barbeque. Brandon got to meet some of my friends that were there.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Busy Day Today

Brandon and I had a very busy day today. This morning we went to Stroller Strides. We have been going Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and Brandon seems to really enjoy it. He doesn't even seem to mind being in his stroller anymore. He used to fight being in it...I don't think he likes being restrained. But now he seems to enjoy it.

This afternoon I brought Brandon to field day at the school where I teach. I figured it was a good way for my co-workers to meet Brandon since it was outside. RSV season is done and Brandon is allowed out and about but school is so germy with other things that are going around. Brandon seemed to enjoy field day and meeting everyone. I got to see my kids from last year as well as kids from previous years. They all liked seeing Brandon. I haven't worked since May 16th last year since my sac ruptured on May 18th. I can't believe how fast the year has gone by even with everything we have been through. I will be going back in September which is going to be difficult. I am really enjoying my time at home with Brandon. I am sure once I am back in the swing of things I will be ok.

The pictures of Brandon in the green and gray shirt and gray shorts is from this morning before stroller strides. The pictures in the orange outfit are from field day. It was a luau theme so I dressed Brandon for it. The pictures in the pajamas are from the end of the day. He looks so tired because he wouldn't go down for a nap after field day since he fell asleep in my car for 10 minutes on the way home from school today. I am so happy that it has finally warmed up so that I can dress Brandon in his summer clothes. The reason Brandon looks like he is not looking at the camera in some of the pictures are because he is looking at me. When I take pictures of him I look at the screen on the back of the camera. He can see me to the side of the camera so he looks at me and smiles when he sees the camera.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pediatrician Appointment

Brandon went to the pediatrician this morning for a well visit. He hadn't been in 3 months. He saw Dr. Kerensky who said he is doing great. He weighed 17 pounds, 10 ounces and was 28 1/4 inches long. He is now on the charts for his real age. He is in the 5th percentile for weight and the 25th percentile for length and head circumference. Dr. Kerensky said preemies catch up first in head measurements, then length, and then weight. He said he should catch up by age 2.

We are going to switch Brandon to regular formula. He only needs to eat 22-24 ounces a day minimum of formula which is good because he is more interested in solids lately. We are allowed to give him yogurt, cottage cheese, and vanilla ice cream as well as anything that we eat as long as it is pureed. We can also give him egg yolk, cheerios softened first in formula, and puffs. He is still not allowed berries, citrus, and tomatoes since those are hi allergy foods. We can try to get Brandon to use a sippy cup although he is still on the young side to get it right away.

Brandon has not slept well the last 3 nights and I foundout the reason is he is teething. Dr. Kerensky felt 6 teeth trying to come in. 4 on the top and 2 on the bottom. He thinks we should start seeing something in 1-2 weeks.

Brandon tried yogurt this afternoon and it was a big hit. He had vanilla flavored yo baby yogurt.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

One Year Ago Tomorrow (not my usual kind of post)

Up until one year ago tomorrow my pregnancy was going great. I was 19 1/2 weeks pregnant and had found out a little over a week before that I was having a girl and a boy. I couldn't have been happier. It is amazing how quickly things changed.

I woke up on May 18, 2008 which was a Sunday morning. Stu left for his drill at the firehouse and I went food shopping at Wegman's. I came home from shopping and put away the groceries and then talked to my parents for awhile. They had just come back from their cruise and were driving home to their house from the port. When I got off the phone I went to the bathroom and that is when things happened. I went to the bathroom and stood up and all of a sudden there was a gush. I knew I wasn't going to the bathroom since I had just gone. The only thing I could think was my water had broken. Only it was way too early. I called the doctor and I called Stu at the firehouse and told him that he had to get home. The doctor called back and told me to go to the hospital right away.

We got to the hospital and the doctor told me that the sac on my baby girl had ruptured. She had no water left but did still have a heartbeat and was still moving. He told me that I would be admitted to the hospital for an indefinite amount of time and that one of the doctors from my high risk group would be coming to the hospital that day to also do an exam. Dr. Nath, from my high risk group came, and confirmed what Dr. Henderson had told me. That the sac on my girl had ruptured. He said most likely an infection is what had caused it to rupture so they immediately started me on high doses of antibiotics. He checked my cervix and it was still closed. He told me that one of three scenarios would happen. I would either lose both babies, I would lose my girl and stay pregnant with my boy, or my girl would die in me and I would stay pregnant with both babies. I was also told that I would be staying in the hospital for awhile and was moved to antepartum.

Everyday a doctor from my ob group stopped in to see me. It seemed that they thought most likely I would lose both babies. They even told me that I could make the choice to end the pregnancy at any time. They would give me something to start contractions and make me deliver the babies. Only I couldn't do this knowing that I had a baby boy that was still in his unruptured sac. I knew I had to give him every chance that I could to make it. Every few days a doctor from my high risk group stopped by. Dr. Gonzales, one of the doctors from this group, really gave me hope. He had seen situations before where one baby was delivered too early where the woman stayed pregnant with the other twin. That was the hope that I needed to continue the bedrest. I continued to leak fluid everyday. As the baby pees more fluid builds up. I was hoping since she was in a little amount of fluid that she would continue to grow and her lungs develop.

I had many visitors at the hospital and my mom was at the hospital with me almost everyday when Stu was at work. Stu came to the hospital everyday after work until he had to go home to go to sleep. I don't think I would have made it without everyone.

A week after my sac ruptured I started having contractions at night. The next day in the late afternoon, on Memorial Day, I delivered my baby girl. I then had a choice to make. Did I want to take something to speed up contractions so I could deliver the other baby or did I want to take something to try to stop contractions? The doctor that delivered my girl still did not think that I would stay pregnant since he had never seen that happen before. We decided to try to stop contractions and see on an ultrasound the next day if everything still looked ok with the boy. I got one shot of brethane to stop contractions and they stopped. My cervix then closed and I wound up staying pregnant. I had a cerclage and then finally got to go home 2 weeks after I was admitted to the hospital to continue bedrest at home.

Since I had the baby after 20 weeks gestation we were responsible for her body. She was born with a heartbeat but her lungs were so underdeveloped since she was born at 20 1/2 weeks. A baby is not usually viable until 24 weeks although there are many 23 weekers on a micro-preemie message board that I am part of that are surviving now. We decided to cremate her since we were so focused on staying pregnant with the other baby. We had the option of seeing her and holding her after she was born but we decided not to since I was still pregnant with the other baby. We really were so focused on the other baby. The hospital did take pictures of her and put them in a memory box that they sent home with us. We haven't named her yet but probably will so that when we tell Brandon about his twin one day we can refer to her by name. Not a day goes by that I don't think of her.

Brandon really is my true miracle baby and I am so happy that he is here. I could have so easily have lost him the night that I delivered my baby girl but he stayed put for another 5 1/2 weeks and today is a remarkable baby.

I have changed over the last year. I don't know how you can go through something that I did without changing. I am not the same person today that I was a year ago.

Having a preemie has not been the easiest thing. I love Brandon more than words can say but I would not wish a preemie on anyone. With a preemie you worry about everything. When he first came home he had 2-3 doctors appointments a week between the pediatrician, eye doctor, cardiologist, and pulminologist. I was not allowed to take Brandon into public for the first time until he was almost 10 months old. Not because I didn't want to but because of RSV. I don't think many of my friends get what it is like. Several have made comments to me throughout the time we were under "house arrest" about what is the big deal about taking him out. I would have loved to show him off to people. He is 10 1/2 months old now and most of my friends and some family still have not seen him.

I feel robbed of getting to experience a full pregnancy. I hadn't even made it to my third trimester yet. I had just started to feel and see Brandon move the few weeks before I had him.

I am blesserd though with my beautiful baby boy and I wouldn't trade him for the world.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Some pictures from this week

Here are some pictures of Brandon from this week. He rolled himself under his swing in the one picture. The giraffe that is in his mouth is Sophie the Giraffe teether. Some other moms that are on the same preemie message board as me recommended Sophie for teething so I ordered it from It came today and so far Brandon seems to like it. It is a soft teether unlike the kind you put in the freezer that get hard.

We had a pretty busy week. Brandon and I went to Stroller Strides on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On Monday he wanted nothing to do with being in his stroller at stroller strides so I had to carry him in the baby bjorn but he hasn't minded being in the stroller since then. On Thursday night I went out to dinner with some of the other moms that go to Stroller Strides. We are going to do something once a month. It was nice to have a moms night out. Brandon and I went to the outlets twice this week. We went on Thursday with Becky and Logan and we went today with my parents. Brandon enjoyed sitting in his stroller at the outlets and just looking around. Brandon also had his first trip to Kohls and to Target this week.

Brandon has been sleeping so much better this week. He still gets up 1-2 times but all I have had to do is pick him up, put his pacifier in his mouth, and lie him back down within a few minutes. He has been sleeping from 7 pm until 4 or 4:30 most mornings before I have to give him a bottle and then has only wanted 1 or 2 ounces. I tried to cut out that bottle a few nights ago since he hardly takes anything but an hour later I was still trying to get him back down so I finally gave it to him and he took 3 ounces. Last night he slept until 5:30 which was so nice. So we started our day at 5:30 but he is usually up between then and 6:00 anyway. So I know he can make it through the night without a bottle.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I Love That Smile

Whenever Brandon wakes up from his naps and in the morning when he wakws up for the day he gives me huge smiles. It makes my heart melt.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

I had a really nice first Mother's Day today. This morning Stu, Brandon, my parents, Stu's mom, and I went to pick out flowers to plant and some hanging baskets of flowers and tomatoes. I put Brandon in the baby bjorn and he loved looking at all of the flowers. Early this afternoon we went to brunch at Branches. We were there last year when I was pregnant with Brandon and his sister and we loved it so much that last year we said we would be back this year with the babies. We followed through and brought Brandon. At first he sat in the high chair and seemed to like it but he quickly wanted out and wanted to be held so I ate with him on my lap and he was also passed to some of his grandparents and Stu. He was really well behaved. It was his first time in a restaurant at all so he didn't do too bad considering. He was also really tired even though I had made the reservations for after his nap. He didn't take as long of a nap as he usually does before brunch. He fell asleep in my arms towards the end of brunch. Thank you Stu and Brandon for making my first mother's day as a mom so enjoyable.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Trying So Hard To Crawl

Brandon has been trying so hard to crawl. He has figured out that if he puts his legs under him he can push with his legs and move. I think once he figures out the arm part of it he will take off. Brandon and I went to Stroller Strides this morning for the first time. It was quite a workout. It is in Wall and if it is nice is outdoors but if it rains it is indoors. We started off walking on a path and every so often would stop and do different things (ab work, arm and leg work with a band, running/ skipping between strollers, squats, etc. Then we would walk again and then stop and do something else. They meet every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for an hour so we will be going to that 3 days a week. Brandon also went to the supermarket with me for the first time. I had him in the baby bjorn while I pushed the cart and he loved looking around. I think he is really enjoying seeing that there is more to this world than doctor's offices and the walls in our house.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Professional Pictures

I brought Brandon to Kiddie Kandids at Babies R' Us today to get his pictures professionally taken for the first time. I was a little nervous at how he would be since it was his first outing other than to the zoo last week and also because the baby before him was hysterical crying. I didn't know if he would be the same way when I put him down to get his pictures taken. He did great. He didn't cry at all and he smiled so nicely for the guy who was taking his pictures. I am so happy with how the pictures turned out. The guy who took his pictures was great with him. He really worked at getting him to smile before taking his picture each time.